A call for bureaucratic hara-kiri

I noticed that Jane Galt is joining the chorus of people calling on Donald Rumsfeld to resign, saying that since "[t]he mission in Iraq is being compromised by the hideous revelations about Abu Ghraib; the only way to repair the damage is for responsibility to be taken at the highest levels."

And not the fake "I'm accountable but I'm not going to, y'know, be called to account" responsibility of Janet Reno, but real, honest to God, "Somethine went wrong on my watch, and I will suffer the penalty" responsibility. For the good of his country, it is time for Don Rumsfeld to go.

This reminds me of the tendency of Japanese executives to 'fall on their swords' whenever something embarassing happened to the company (product recall, spectacular accident, stock value drops, etc), which at the time struck me as odd. The CEO didn't do the embarassing thing (usually, in the case of Japanese CEO self-firing), and usually didnt have anything to do with the process that caused the problem. But, upon reflection, CEOs are there as public faces of their organizations and so in some ways it can be seen as their duty to sacrifice themselves to propitiate the gods of the marketplace when trouble occurs.

Extending this idea to the Executive branch of the US government, what if every department head and secretary resigned whenever their minions did something stupid and/or their policies failed in a very public way. We couldn't have that, since that would mean a constant shuffling of new heads and secretaries every few days, which would mean pandemonium and chaos; nothing could get done at any federal agency due to the constant shakeups.

Er, wait. Hmmm...

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It strikes me as a symptom

It strikes me as a symptom of a failed concept of governance, the confusion of majoritarianism and mob rule for democracy. Europe is as plagued by this as Japan. Israel faces such destructive pressures too as we saw recently. Parliamentary systems in general have this problem since there is inadequate separation of powers and lack of fixed, comparatively brief terms of office.

Such systems guarantee majoritarian tyranny and impulsive popular government incapable of measured response or foresight. Curiously perhaps, a similar problem plagues public corporations. Living by quarters encourages short sighted management to the detriment of longer term though better choices, and encourages deceit to conceal possibly damaging revelations so they can be corrected before doing public relations harm.

Mob rule is bad. Period.

I'm unclear as to what good

I'm unclear as to what good Rumsfeld's resignation will do. I doubt it will cut any ice in arab or muslim circles. You'd need to hang those directly responsible to do that.

Just a thought: I think any

Just a thought: I think any news stories about the Democrats calling for Rumsfeld to resign over this should be called "well duh." IMO it's about as newsworthy as a sports team complaining about a missed penalty of the opposite team from the referees.